Micro-Acquisition Pilot: Status Update 2
As part of the Micro-Acquisition pilot we are testing hypotheses, learning and adjusting as we go. In preparation for the next opportunity, we have made a few changes based on what we learned from the first opportunity.
Added a mailing list
When we didn’t get a lot of followers on our Twitter account3, we did some testing and realized 2 things:
- It wasn’t clear what information would be found by following the Twitter account; and
- A lot of our target audience is not on Twitter.
We now have a mailing list that anyone can subscribe to. Through the mailing list (and Twitter), we will be sharing when new opportunities are posted and/or updated. We also updated the text on the opportunities page to be clearer about what information is available via the Twitter account and mailing list.
Updated evaluation question
We realized from the applications we received for the first opportunity, that there were people who likely could do the work but the phrasing of our evaluation criteria prevented us from giving them a pass because they didn’t have experience specifically in Powershell. Where possible, future opportunities will see the evaluation criteria change from:
Please provide a short written statement demonstrating how you have the required skills in x.
Please provide a short written statement demonstrating how you have the required skills in x or a similar language.
We’ve also added example answers which would get a passing mark to the User Guide.
Looking for the right opportunity for opportunity #2
The first micro-acquisition opportunity required skills in Powershell. Powershell is somewhat of a niche language and limited the number of applications we received. When talking to supplier stakeholders like education and retraining organizations, we heard that while they’d like to promote Micro-acquisition opportunities to their students, Powershell is not something that their students are learning.
So we are being careful in choosing opportunity #2 to ensure that the skills required are those that are more commonly taught and known in the developer community. This is not to say we won’t be doing any opportunities in niche languages in the future. Just that we will be making sure that we have a good mix of opportunities.
Using GC Forms for the application form
While we didn’t have evidence of anyone having problems using the PDF application form, we have chosen to replace it with a form on GC Forms. GC Forms is a new Canadian Digital Service (CDS) product with a goal to “Help government-users quickly and easily publish simple, accessible, online forms that the public can use to apply for or access the services or benefits they need.” GC Forms is a service — you tell CDS your need, they build your form, test it and then send you the link. GC Forms is accessible, secure and has full authority to operate.
We are excited about this change because we will no longer have to maintain a PDF form (which was tedious) and user experience for suppliers will be improved as the form will not allow submission unless all mandatory fields have been completed. It also means that we will receive application information as structured data, so that we can automate the processing of the application forms.
And you might have noticed (if you clicked the link in the Added a Mailing List section above) that we are also using GC Forms as the means for folks to subscribe to our mailing list.
That’s all for our updates for now. Stay tuned for the second opportunity!
Micro-Acquisition website https://micro-acquisition.alpha.canada.ca/en/index.html ↩
First Micro-Acquisition opportunity https://micro-acquisition.alpha.canada.ca/2021/06/23/building-custom-Azure-marketplace-policies.html ↩